Watch Out For Apple’s Newest Gadget

Published On May 2, 2013 | Electronics

If you think you’ve seen it all when it comes to gadgets, then you’re in for a surprise. With startup companies like Pebble finally shipping its smart watches, it’s no surprise that Apple has hopped on the bandwagon. Of course, you’ll have to wait and see if the company takes over the industry like it did with MP3 players.

The rumor mill is calling it the iWatch, of course. Whether Apple will call it that, or even whether the company will produce what speculators are talking about, is still up in the air. What is known at this point is that Apple applied for a patent that details a flexible display that is also wearable.

Of course, with smart watches finally coming of age, the speculation makes sense. Still, it may be too early to tell what Apple really intends to do. One thing is for certain: The design works something like a slap bracelet. This makes the iWatch different from everything on the market.

Technophiles love being able to connect with their phones to use the watch as caller ID or to view incoming messages. The screen would be much smaller than that of the iPhone or iPad, which means shorter charging time than those devices.

Of course, Apple would see revenue from selling another accessory that works with its existing devices. Some experts think that the tech giant is onto something big with the potential iWatch. The device has attracted so much attention that other companies are throwing their hat in the ring. Samsung recently announced that the company is working on its own smart watch.

However, Apple is already being looked at as a leader in the smart watch race. Oliver Chen, an analyst for CitiBank Group, is among those who have spoken out in favor of the iWatch.

He told Bloomberg he believes that a watch from Apple has the potential to become a billion dollar product. The company could capture much of the market. Part of this is due to Apple’s already-high profile business, but the company is also good at marketing and designing products in a way that makes them appeal to the masses.

Chen went so far as to say the profits from a watch would do more for Apple than the TV market. Although the tech business has already developed two versions of its smart TV, Apple hasn’t seen as much buzz around its products. Roku and Boxee are just as well known in that realm, which proves that Apple is not infallible. Some of this might be due to Apple’s lack of initiative when it comes to developing AppleTV as both a gaming console and a media center.

Critics have been quick to voice their opinions. In general, the younger generation doesn’t wear watches thanks to the convenience of devices like the iPhone. The older generation uses watches as much to tell time as to make a fashion statement, and some find it hard to believe that Apple will be able to design a device that those people will want to wear. On the other hand, Apple is known for its stylish devices, and the iPhone is as much of a fashion statement as a watch has ever been.

No doubt, people will continue to spread rumors until Apple goes public, but this is how it always is with the company.

Do you think smart watches will catch on?

— By Jennifer Thayer

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